Helene Star grabs Bowl place with record display
HELENE Star clinched his coveted International Bowl spot when running his rivals ragged with a scintillating display in the sixth event at Sha Tin yesterday.
In victory, the Gerald Mosse-ridden Helene Star defied an onerous 141 pounds and still managed to register a Class One best time for the 1,200-metre trip.
He took 0.1 seconds from stablemate Quicken Away's old record of one minute 9.7 seconds when scoring eased down by three-quarters of a length from Red Ruffian and goes into the $3.5 million Bowl with a very real chance of success.
''Gerald told me that he still had another gear which he didn't have to use,'' smiled trainer Patrick Biancone who is already looking forward to the big day on April 18.
Biancone is champing at the bit at the thought of renewing rivalries with some of the big-name trainers from Europe whose colours he lowered on numerous occasions during those heady days in the 1980s when he mustered more than 30 Group One victories throughout the continent and North America.
He added: ''We now know that Helene Star can go into the Bowl with a very real chance. He hadn't beaten much before and he hasn't really beaten a top quality field today.
''But he has done it conceding lots of weight and he ran an excellent time in the process.
''He is still improving and can be even better at the 1,400-metre distance of the Bowl.'' Senior handicapper Martyn Stewart reported that three of the four places reserved for local horses in the Bowl are likely to go to Helene Star, Concert King and Carry On Winning. The remaining vacancy could fall to Quicken Away, depending on his fitness.
Biancone intends to run Quicken Away on March 7 and continued: ''He's very, very well. I hope and expect my two horses to meet on the big day.'' Meanwhile, local handler Eddie K. C. Lo left the track $10,000 poorer after being fined at a pre-race inquiry.
The stewards found that Lo had breached trackwork regulations by failing to report that his triple winner Sound-N-Right had suffered a bleeding attack on Friday morning.